Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

6-1-2013

Abstract

The tri-centennial of Leibniz’s death is nigh (2016). And 2013 is not too early to begin a special celebration of this man of mathematics. Besides being the co-discoverer of calculus and the implementer of binary numbers, formal logic, and formal languages, all of which foreshadowed the computer age, Leibniz is said to be one of the last to know almost everything that was known about almost anything. Professionally, his occupation was librarian in the princely court of Hanover in oldGermany. Serving under three different princes, the last of whom became George I of England, Leibniz had to continual lyre-invent himself—somewhat like us older teachers and professors who have continually re-invented ourselves over the years as classroom technology changed from slide rule to hand-held calculators to computers to a profusion of computational schema and distance-learning on the web—-under changing administrations and expectations. Throughout his long life, he traveled extensively, maintained a vibrant, voluminous correspondence with a host of theologians, scientific savants, politicians, and friends. In fact, Leibniz is said to have “fine-tuned” the notion and practice of “the balance of power” among nations and pioneered the idea and practice of ecumenicalism within the fragmented church universal. He has much to teach us about math, life, and faith. In our time slot on the program—we give a short sketch with a few life lessons from this giant of a man.

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